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NEWS ROUNDUP 18 Jan 2018

Progressive powers fall apart after mud-slinging campaign

Marjan Justaert recommended by Marjan Justaert De Standaard, Belgium

Local elections in Belgium aren't until October, but a vicious campaign has already claimed one casualty -- a joint progressive slate of three political parties. 

Belgium Signs of the Times

Why this story matters:

As Belgians prepare for local and municipal elections, all eyes are on Antwerp, where the main political leader in Flanders and Belgian, Mayor Bart De Wever (a Flemish nationalist), is dueling with progressive powers that joined forces. 

That clash took a new turn Wednesday in the Flemish part of Belgium, where a progressive alliance of greens and socialists suddenly fell apart after allegations of financial irregularities in an earlier job by Antwerp's Socialist Party chairman, Tom Meeuws. Meanwhile, Meeuws has accused members of the City Cabinet of having close ties to real estate developers.

Politics in Belgium can be rough, and some politicians are urging campaigns to steer clear of imitating Trump-like language.

 'Let's not descend into this in Belgium,' they say. 

A series of financial scandals last year prompted a number of resignations. Belgians now expect politicians to be "clean," especially where public money is involved.

Only time will tell whether the political campaigns in Belgium will lead to further accusations of financial misconduct and whether voters will insist on having "pure" politicians in office. 

politics

Details from the story:

  • Allegations of financial irregularities against Antwerp socialist party chairman Tom Meeuws were published  the tabloid magazine "Dag Allemaal," which specializes in celebrity gossip.
  • Meeuws offered to resign but withdrew his offer a few hours later. 
  • The socialists, greens and independents were on a joint progressive slate called Samen, meaning "together." 
  • On Wednesday, the greens left the joint venture, and the progressive slate fall apart.

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